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Inorg Chem. 2010 Feb 15;49(4):1634-46. doi: 10.1021/ic9020299.

Solvatochromic and ionochromic effects of Iron(II)bis(1,10-phenanthroline)dicyano: a theoretical study.

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Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.


Solvatochromic and ionochromic effects of the iron(II)bis(1,10-phenanthroline)dicyano (Fe(phen)(2)(CN)(2)) complex were investigated by means of combined DFT/TDDFT calculations using the PBE and B3LYP functionals. Extended solvation models of Fe(phen)(2)(CN)(2) in acetonitrile and aqueous solution, as well as including interaction with Mg(2+), were constructed. The calculated vertical excitation energies reproduce well the observed solvatochromism in acetonitrile and aqueous solutions, the ionochromism in acetonitrile in the presence of Mg(2+), and the absence of ionochromic effect in aqueous solution. The vertical excitation energies and the nature of the transitions were reliably predicted after inclusion of geometry relaxation upon aqueous micro- and global solvation and solvent polarization effect in the TDDFT calculations. The two intense UV-vis absorption bands occurring for all systems studied are interpreted as transitions from a hybrid Fe(II)(d)/cyano N(p) orbital to a phenanthroline pi* orbital rather than a pure metal-to-ligand-charge transfer (MLCT). The solvatochromic and ionochromic blue band shifts of Fe(phen)(2)(CN)(2) were explained with preferential stabilization of the highest occupied Fe(II)(d)/cyano N(p) orbitals as a result of specific interactions with water solvent molecules or Mg(2+) ions in solution. Such interactions occur through the CN(-) groups in the complex, and they have a decisive role for the observed blue shifts of UV-vis absorption bands.

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